Patient Transport Officers Stop Work Meeting Outcome

Yesterday PTO members from across PTS attended a stop work meeting on zoom, fed up with the entire process of roster reform. After a quick summary of the painfully slow 18-month process so far, full of meetings and questions that are never answered, PTO delegates proposed a new way forward for members. If the rosters produced by HealthShare are ‘award compliant’ and still unworkable and unfair, then members must take the fight to the award itself.

HealthShare PTOs are covered by one umbrella award, a specific award, and (for grand parented employees) a number of award variations determined in 2016. The umbrella award is the Health Employees' Conditions of Employment (State) Award, a 62-page document that covers many HSU members across the NSW Health system and provides some indications about how rosters should be managed in clauses 3. Hours and 4. Roster of Hours. The specific 4-page award covering HealthShare PTOs is the HealthShare NSW Patient Transport Officers' (State) Award. This award specifies pay and a few other conditions specific to PTOs. Where something is not referenced in the PTO award, you have to refer back to the umbrella award. The PTO specific award currently contains no specific reference to rosters – this is something members intend to change in time for the award to be renewed after June 30, 2024.

Meanwhile, HealthShare continue to roll ahead with their planned unworkable rosters, trying to cover up their mismanagement of patient flow. PTO members held a vote of no confidence last week, in response to the roster reform process. The results indicate that 92.98% of members have no confidence in HealthShare’s ability to safely and fairly run PTS. This outcome shows not only how disheartened members are feeling with HealthShare, but how much trust has eroded between workers and the Service. The results of this vote will be shared with key decision makers.

PTO members are ready with a new plan, developed by delegates and rank and file members at yesterday’s stop work meeting:

  1. PTO members will refuse to engage with the vote on the proposed rosters. It is recommended they email their local management politely stating their intention not to vote and cc the HSU office.
  2. PTO members at each hub will, in consultation with their local delegates, create local award reform committees to bring up ideas from membership. These local committees will all gather on a zoom meeting next week to create a concrete plan for award reform.
  3. PTO delegates will meet again with HealthShare management to share members’ intention to circumvent their ‘award compliant’ rosters by changing the award.

It has been some time since PTOs have had the opportunity to reform this award. From 2011 to 2023, the unfair wages cap kept wages depressed and awards almost frozen for all public sector workers. With only four months to go until the current award expires, PTO members will now kick into gear and fight this on an award level. Members should start collating their ideas with their local committees in time for the statewide meeting next week.